Volunteers needed to offer a flying start
THE Devon & Somerset Wing of the Air Training Corps is seeking new volunteer staff members to help run fun, interesting and challenging activities for cadets.
With almost 41,000 members in more than 1,000 squadrons across the UK, Air Cadets is the world's largest youth air training organisation.
Cadets aged from 13 to 20 get involved with flying, gliding, adventure training, field craft, camps in the UK and overseas, sports, shooting and other activities.
Anyone aged over 20 who is keen to develop skills, leadership qualities and gain qualifications can apply to join the volunteer staff.
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Squadron Leader Steve Gray said: "As the backbone of our organisation we're always on the lookout for high-calibre individuals to become volunteers, helping to run the activities that play such an important role in the lives of our young members.
"All kinds of people make up our volunteer staff, coming from a range of backgrounds and interests.
"It's not just the cadets we like to see excel. We lead by example and only by having fully trained, qualified and capable staff can we encourage confident, responsible cadets."
He added: "We'll supply all the training you require for the activities you assist with or lead, including health and safety, first aid and leadership courses which are essential to a safe environment in which the cadets can be physically challenged with adventurous training and competitive sports. Plus, as a volunteer you could be gaining extra qualifications, which you can then use in other career areas.
"Most people are surprised to find that as well as enjoying the work, they make a lot of new friends and have a great social time when they join as an adult volunteer. Some have even found their future husbands and wives this way."
Squadron Leader Dave Rolfe, an adult volunteer with Devon & Somerset Air Cadets, said: "I have been involved with the Air Cadet organisation for more than 30 years, as a cadet, and as a staff member.
"I have fantastic memories of being an Air Cadet and have made lifelong friends as a staff member. I've attended sea survival courses, overseas camps and adventure training expeditions, and had the opportunity to accompany the cadets flying and gliding. I just don't know where the time goes."
There is no upper age limit for civilian instructors, although uniformed officer entry has an upper limit of 55. Many volunteers are retired or semi-retired, but many work full-time.
Officers or non-commissioned officers can claim for up to 28 days' pay per year and will also be reimbursed travel expenses.
Anyone interested can find out more by visiting www.atcdevsom.org.uk, www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets or contacting Sqn Ldr Gray on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01392 275173.